A Very Special Fund Raising Opportunity for Epilepsy Services
The Giving Challenge is an annual event sponsored by area foundations in order to help not-for-profit organizations generate more revenue for programs. Beginning Tuesday, September 20 at noon through Wednesday, September 21 at noon, any new contribution to ESSWFL up to $100, made with a credit card on-line through the 2016 Giving Challenge website https://givingpartnerchallenge.org/npo/epilepsy-services-of-sw-florida will be tripled!! That means for example, your $100 gift automatically becomes $300. The minimum gift amount is $25. If you have made a contribution in the past, your gift up to $100 will be doubled!!
The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Partner funders do not receive fees of any kind from donations made during the Giving Challenge.
How your gift helps
ESSWFL provides medical services, case management and prescription medications to uninsured adults with epilepsy. We serve 550 clients in eight Southwest Florida counties. Each client meets with a neurologist and is assigned a case manager who can help them navigate other community social services. ESSWFL helps clients gain and maintain control of their seizures, feel better physically and emotionally and gain a greater degree of personal dignity and independence.
The Selby Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida to assist with the cost of new office furniture. The majority of the funding will be used to upgrade the agency's reception and waiting areas.
Epilepsy Services recently moved into 1000 square feet in the Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center. "This gift helps us in our efforts to create the most efficient and professional office environment that we can," explained executive director Kevin Lindberg. "We are very grateful for the support of Selby."
Community Foundation of Sarasota County and
Gulf Coast Community Foundation Award $9000 to ESSWFL
Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida would like to acknowledge the Arthur T. Esslinger Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County which recently awarded us an Immediate Impact Grant in the amount of $5000 and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation which contributed $4000 to assist with the cost of our move from downtown Sarasota to the Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center at 1750 17th Street in Sarasota. The grant was used to help cover costs including the physical move, phone system and computer network reconnection, minor repairs, printing updates and more.
The Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center is a non-profit organization committed to providing professional office space at the lowest possible price so that agencies like ours can direct more resources toward program and services.
More than 100 people turned out for the 2nd Southwest Florida Epilepsy Awareness Walk on April 23 at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers. The event was in support of Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida (ESSWF) offices in Naples and Fort Myers.
Eighteen sponsors and in-kind donors contributed to increasing the awareness level of the agency's programs and services. The event raised $7500 for ESSWF. Speakers during the opening ceremony included executive director Kevin Lindberg, Epilepsy Services clients Philip Dixon and Rebecca Aviles provided emotional testimonials. Last year's keynote speaker, Jane Kelly, co-chaired the event with last year's chair, Iris Robles. Other guests include Fort Myers neurologist Dr. Lane Carlin, and NBC2 meteorologist Haley Webb.
"We're extremely grateful for the support of all of the sponsors and the walkers," said executive director Kevin Lindberg. "It's always great to see the epilepsy community come together like this and we look forward to continue to grow the event," he added.
Participants enjoyed the services of a DJ from Midnight Sun Entertainment, a Zumba warm-up by Stacey Kobert, face painting by America's Fun Face Painting and Making Faces with Adrianna, a beautiful version of The Star Spangled Banner by Beth Welsh and a variety of refreshments.
The event was the brainchild of Fort Myers resident and event chair Iris Robles, a young mother with the challenges of caring for a child with epilepsy. "It is so important that more people become aware of the scope of epilepsy in our community and the assistance that is available at Epilepsy Services," she said.
Epilepsy Services of SW Florida welcomes Dr. Andrew Keegan
Dr. Andrew P. Keegan, M.D. a Board Certified Neurologist, will be joining Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida in February as a staff neurologist.
Dr. Keegan is currently the Associate Director of the Roskamp Institute Clinic in Sarasota where he is the principal investigator of multiple clinical trials. The Mission of The Roskamp Institute is to conduct scientific research to discover safe and effective new drug therapies to successfully treat diseases of the mind and to promote healthy aging.
Dr. Keegan began his training at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY where he completed his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. After receiving his B.S., he pursued research in the neurosciences while obtaining a Master’s degree in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Keegan completed medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans. He completed his internship and Neurology residency at Washington University in St. Louis.
Dr. Van Passel Honored for Years of Service
Dr. Leonie Van Passel was recently honored for serving as a staff neurologist for Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida from 2007 until 2015. Kevin Lindberg, Executive Director presented her with a plaque.
Awards $10k Grant to Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida
Epilepsy Services ofSouthwest Florida has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Sarasota based Wilson-Wood Foundation to help with costs associated with client case management.
"We are extremely grateful to the Wilson-Wood Foundation for its support of our program," said ESSWFL executive director Kevin Lindberg. "Support like this helps to assure that we can take on all eligible clients and avoid any delays in treatment."
Epilepsy Services ofSouthwest Florida
Presents Plaque to
Representative Matt Hudson
Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida executive director, Kevin Lindberg, presents a plaque of appreciation from the Florida Epilepsy Alliance to District 80 State Representative Matt Hudson, R-Naples.
Representative Hudson serves as Florida’s chairman of the health care appropriations subcommittee which helps to determine Florida Department of Health funding levels.
This year’s healthy state budget meant an increase in funding for epilepsy programs throughout the state.
ESSWFL Presented a Program on Epilepsy Awareness and First Aid for Seizures for Manatee Sheriff's Department and North Port Police Department
Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida worked with 997 Manatee Sheriff’s Department employees and 85 North Port Police Department personnel on epilepsy awareness, seizure recognition and first aid for seizures. Law enforcement personnel viewed the DVD “It Could Be Epilepsy - A Field Guide for Law Enforcement” and were presented with general information about epilepsy, different types of seizures and the how to help a person having a seizure. Manatee and North Port law enforcement personnel took a quiz after the presentation. All law enforcement employees completed the training successfully.
Cape Coral Girl Scouts
Give “Hope” and Kinship to a Three Year Old Girl with Epilepsy
Girl Scout Troops 102 and 463 are making a BIG impact because of a small girl named Greilyn. Greilyn has epilepsy and has endured over 300 seizures, her first seizure at only two weeks old rendering her legally blind. While Greilyn has a wonderful family and support system behind her, she never expected the sisterhood of girls to rally around her and her story.
Greilyn’s sister is a part of Cape Coral Girl Scout Troop 102. She shared with the girls about her sister and the troop decided to learn about epilepsy. They had a nurse come in to speak about what happens to the brain with a seizure. A volunteer of the troop also suffers from epilepsy and gave girls an emotional look at what it feels like to live with the disease. A service dog trainer came in and spoke to the girls about the process of training and how a service dog helps people with epilepsy.
They also bonded with Greilyn and were moved by her story. The girls felt a special kinship with her. They loved to see her smile and make her giggle. The girls of Troop 102 got an idea that would change Greilyn’s life… they wanted to use some money from the cookie sale to help get Greilyn a service dog, something that will immensely improve the quality of life. And the cookie campaign, “Hope for Greilyn” (Hope is the dog’s name) came to life. Troop 463 also jumped onto the campaign. They made t-shirts in purple (Greilyn’s favorite color and the color that represents Epilepsy Awareness), the cookie booths were made in purple with signs of support, pictures, and their goal to bring “Hope” to her. In the end, the girls succeeded. Troop 102 sold a whopping 17,000 boxes of cookies and were able to donate $1,000 for Hope to Greilyn. Troop 463 donated $670 of their cookie money. They had a special check presentation party to celebrate this.
Cape Coral Girl Scouts of Troops 102 and 463, and now other Girl Scouts have learned to love and appreciate those who struggle. They have learned that through their hard work, they have the ability to be a part of something that can change someone’s life to forever. This experience is certainly something they will carry with them through life.
About Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc.: Girl Scouting builds girls of Courage, Confidence and Character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. is chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA and serves over 7,500 girls in ten counties including: Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Lee, Hendry, and Collier. For more information about the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida visit www.gsgcf.org.
Dawn Langelle has a new lease on life and she wants everyone to know about it. (see poem below)
After two devastating head injuries in 2009, one caused simply by being distracted while on a walk, the other by a fall off of her bike, Dawn began suffering seizures and related symptoms that changed her life.“There was a significant period of time where all I could do was lie in the dark with earplugs and a pillow over my eyes.”
She had seen numerous practitioners, she explains, some even questioning the validity of her story, others diagnosing her as mentally ill. Her search for help was costly. Her seizures led to losing her job. She had no health insurance. Her mother was able to help her pay mounting medical expenses. “She went into the funds she had saved for when she aged to help me,” Dawn explains. ;“I had been planning to be the one who helped her,” she says, well aware of the irony of the role reversal."
A self- described fitness nut and a computer whiz who had made a good living with her technology skills, she found herself in a desperate situation, barely able to function, let alone think about finding employment. Herplight had lasted more than four years and her health was deteriorating. A case manager with a brain injury support organization suggested she contact Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida.
Dawn participated in the intake process and learned she was eligible for a neurological consult with Dr. Ronald Aung-Din, one of the Epilepsy Services physicians. This was followed up by another appointment with the doctor during a monthly clinic. A new diagnosis and a new medication regimen was working. The fog was beginning to lift and she gained strength and improved clarity of thought. She was on her way back to a new level of self-management. “I told my mother that we would be able to have some fun again,” she said proudly.
She still has a way to go with her recovery but she is grateful to be where she’s at now. She will continue to participate in the program at no cost. She encourages others to hang in. “These people can give you hope and help you live your life optimally.”